Meet the Norwich man who lost nine stone in under a year
- Credit: Steve Little
A Norfolk man has lost almost half of his body weight in under a year, shedding nine stone last year.
Norwich's Matthew Symons weighed 22 stone when he embarked on his health journey, and now weighs 13.
The Heigham Grove resident said: 'I've always struggled with my weight from my early teens, and found that I yo-yoed all the way through.
'It was more my early 20's when my weight started to creep up and up. I tried other weight loss plans but never seemed to be able to stick to them. So as my 20's turned into my 30's I was just gaining weight but never seemed to notice and just plodded on with life.'
The 35-year-old has recently been named Wensum Slimming World Man of the Year 2018.
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The bookmakers employee said: 'I found that I became extremely self-conscious and didn't like going places, as I always thought people were looking and laughing at me, my confidence had completely gone.
'I was always tired and never would do anything, and I had become lazy. Everything was an effort. Going up and down stairs I would become out if breath, and if I had to go anywhere I would get a taxi as I was too unfit to walk anywhere.'
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He continued: 'At that time in my life when you think about planning for the future, you think of relationships, property and job prospects. Not once did I think about my health and how my lifestyle could have future implications, until one morning just before Christmas 2015 I woke to the news that my life-long best friend had suddenly passed away in the night at age 34.
'My life just fell apart and I spent the next year grieving and massively neglecting myself.'
The change came for Mr Symons when he saw an article in the Eastern Daily Press in 2016 about Steve Little, who had lost six stone in six months.
Mr Little was about to launch a Slimming World group nearby, which Mr Symons joined.
He said: 'Without his support I don't know where I'd be today.
'I am able to do so much more now, I'd get out of breath walking down the road, now I regularly run 5k and I've just signed up the Run Norwich 10k in August.'
The Wensum Slimming World group is held every Wednesday at Wensum Junior School, NR2 5HB at 7.30pm.
Anyone interested in joining the group can pop along or for more information they can call Steven Little on 07585 702854.